Smart's Value

moondog80

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Down to 26.5% for the season after going 1-7 (all 3 pointers).

On November 6 he went 2 for 5 vs. Atlanta. And it was his 2nd best game of the season in terms of FG%.
 

BigSoxFan

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Down to 26.5% for the season after going 1-7 (all 3 pointers).

On November 6 he went 2 for 5 vs. Atlanta. And it was his 2nd best game of the season in terms of FG%.
I mean, it has to be a historically-bad start to the season for him. Can’t imagine there have been many worse months in NBA history based on volume and percentage. Again, not a huge deal as long as the volume is in the 7-8 shots range. It’s those 3-15 games that simply cannot happen. There are simply far too many better options on this team to allow Smart to shoot more than 10 shots.
 

lovegtm

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I mean, it has to be a historically-bad start to the season for him. Can’t imagine there have been many worse months in NBA history based on volume and percentage. Again, not a huge deal as long as the volume is in the 7-8 shots range. It’s those 3-15 games that simply cannot happen. There are simply far too many better options on this team to allow Smart to shoot more than 10 shots.
I'm getting very frustrated with Brad wrt Smart. Over half these shots should be immediately benchable offenses, and he's had a way quicker hook for mistakes from guys like Jaylen in the past.
 

benhogan

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Its simple, Smart needs to dribble drive to the hoop instead of settling for jumpers. This would lead to:
(1) getting a layup if no one stops him OR
(2) a defender trying to stop him, Marcus scoring a contested layup, drawing a foul, or missing a close-range shot which leads to Marcus bullying his way for an off. rebound OR
(3) drawing two defenders which leads to a kick out 3-pointer or an assist to a cutting teammate
1 for 7 from the field and ALL of them were 3pt shots tonight, clearly, it isn't that "simple".

Smart is 2nd on the team in 3PA for the season and every starter + Rozier are much better shooters than Smart. It's really hard to criticize Brad, but Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala are pedestrian 3pt shooters and Kerr limits their attempts relative to Durant, Steph, Klay and Nick Young. The Warriors, who play in more blowouts and would be more liberal with shot selection, let Dray launch 10% of their team attempts and AI 5% while Smart launches more than 15% of the Celtics attempts.

Smart is and has always been a horrific 3pt shooter, they need to squeeze more efficiency out of Marcus on the offensive end. Maybe explain to him that he is hurting the team and his free agency value launching so many 3 pointers and act more like AI and Dray.
 
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Eddie Jurak

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I'm getting very frustrated with Brad wrt Smart. Over half these shots should be immediately benchable offenses, and he's had a way quicker hook for mistakes from guys like Jaylen in the past.
If Stevens was aggressively benching Smart after bad shots, what do you think the Celtics record would be?
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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I agree. Smart is not a starter, and with a very capable Rozier on the team as a backup PG as well, I don't really see Smart as a must-sign player, even with all of the things he does. If you can sign him on a good deal, then sure, but handing out big contracts to mid-level talent is how you end up with a crap NBA team.
I'm not sure this is right.

The Celtics have $100mm committed to 2019 with Horford, Irving, Hayward, Brown, Tatum, and Yabusele. The cap is currently $99mm. Even if they opt to not sign Smart to big cash, they won't have much room to bring in someone better, even if the cap rises a bit.

I'm not sure you can get better options then what you're looking at with the current roster. The plan was confusing prior to this past off-season, now it's pretty simple:

Extend the guys here and go over the salary cap with them, use the MLE on someone useful, pray we get another franchise player in one of the next two drafts, hope Tatum/Brown/draft pick develop with Kyrie. That's it. I like it just as much as any other plan we could have hoped for.
 

Eddie Jurak

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I'm not sure this is right.

The Celtics have $100mm committed to 2019 with Horford, Irving, Hayward, Brown, Tatum, and Yabusele. The cap is currently $99mm. Even if they opt to not sign Smart to big cash, they won't have much room to bring in someone better, even if the cap rises a bit.

I'm not sure you can get better options then what you're looking at with the current roster. The plan was confusing prior to this past off-season, now it's pretty simple:

Extend the guys here and go over the salary cap with them, use the MLE on someone useful, pray we get another franchise player in one of the next two drafts, hope Tatum/Brown/draft pick develop with Kyrie. That's it. I like it just as much as any other plan we could have hoped for.
I think this is basically right. I think the lion's share of their improvement over the next year or two is going to come from Hayward's return and growth from Brown and Tatum.

I hope they can retain Smart because I think his horrible shooting obscures his real value.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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1 for 7 from the field and ALL of them were 3pt shots tonight, clearly, it isn't that "simple".

Smart is 2nd on the team in 3PA for the season and every starter + Rozier are much better shooters than Smart. It's really hard to criticize Brad, but Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala are pedestrian 3pt shooters and Kerr limits their attempts relative to Durant, Steph, Klay and Nick Young. The Warriors, who play in more blowouts and would be more liberal with shot selection, let Dray launch 10% of their team attempts and AI 5% while Smart launches more than 15% of the Celtics attempts.

Smart is and has always been a horrific 3pt shooter, they need to squeeze more efficiency out of Marcus on the offensive end. Maybe explain to him that he is hurting the team and his free agency value launching so many 3 pointers and act more like AI and Dray.
Shooters got to shoot.

One thing about Marcus last night: early in the game he passed up on a couple of looks I thought he'd ordinarily take and didn't start bombing away until the game was out of reach.

Here's some stats on his shooting: http://celtics247.com/2017/11/marcus-smart-shooting-stats-breakdown/. They really speak for themselves but it's notable how few easy shots he is getting.
 

lovegtm

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If Stevens was aggressively benching Smart after bad shots, what do you think the Celtics record would be?
Obviously it would be worse in the short term for a game or two, but you don't think Marcus would get the idea quickly? He's clearly a smart enough guy, no pun intended.
 

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Shooters got to shoot.

One thing about Marcus last night: early in the game he passed up on a couple of looks I thought he'd ordinarily take and didn't start bombing away until the game was out of reach.

Here's some stats on his shooting: http://celtics247.com/2017/11/marcus-smart-shooting-stats-breakdown/. They really speak for themselves but it's notable how few easy shots he is getting.
Maybe Brad wanted him to try to shoot his way out of this in a game like yesterday's?
 

DrewDawg

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The game was over by halftime. Smart had taken 1 shot. I really could care less what happens when it's a 20-25 point game for the last 2 quarters. 5 of his 7 shots were in the 4th quarter.

If he's not going to magically shoot better then last night was EXACTLY what you should want from him.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Maybe Brad wanted him to try to shoot his way out of this in a game like yesterday's?
Well from a macro POV, the entire season has kind of been like last night's game.

I mean the Cs are 17-1 over their last 18 games. I'd probably be more concerned if MS were passing up open looks than if he's missing them.

I would think someone in the organization has done a video study of his form compared to preseason. Wish I could see that; I'm surprised no one on the internet has done it yet.
 

benhogan

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The game was over by halftime. Smart had taken 1 shot. I really could care less what happens when it's a 20-25 point game for the last 2 quarters. 5 of his 7 shots were in the 4th quarter.

If he's not going to magically shoot better then last night was EXACTLY what you should want from him.
Agree, don't care much about garbage time, although the Celtics have played a lot of tight games lately so it was nice to get a breather.

Question: if Smart shot 2 for 5 from 3pt line in the 4th Quarter last night would the Celtics be better off going forward? IMHO The sooner that Smart understands there are much better options on the Celtics offense than his 3PAs, the better the Celtics will be.

His 3 pre-season games were a classic SSS hot streak, driven by launching tons of 3s for a couple months straight this summer. Admittedly, I wishfully drank the kool-aid of the "new ME" Marcus. Unfortunately, the season doesn't work like that, where he can just focus on launching 3s in practice for a month straight. Bad ankles and all, he is a historically bad shooter and that isn't changing, that's who he is. It's a small adjustment, 2-3 less 3PA/game, no hesitation needed Marcus' needs to just drive/draw/dish OR rotate the ball to the better shooters.

I'm not suggesting they play Smart less or Brad bench him. He is value added, bad shooting and all.

Just someone please explain to Marcus that Andre Iguodala and Draymond Green are examples of terrific players (and decent shooters) that shoot fewer 3-pointers than their top 4 shooters. If Marcus can cut back the 3PA it would increase his and the teams offensive efficiency and lead to a bigger payday.
 
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Fishy1

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To be fair to Marcus, this is also his worst shooting month ever by about 5%. He's had months at 27% before, but never has he had a month at .23. He doesn't live here, and his shooting will get better - maybe not enough better, but better.

I'm not saying he should continue to take 10 or more attempts, and am squarely in the camp of people who want Marcus to take less shots. Just wanted to give the conversation some context.
 

Joe Sixpack

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Yeah, but too much time involved. With baseball it's easy to do something else while following the game. And watching the Bruins take a chunk of my time.
If you look up Ximo Pierto on YouTube they post a 9-10 minute highlight package of every NBA game within a couple hours of the games ending.

It's a good way to get caught up and get to watch a decent chunk of the action if you are short on time to watch full games.
 

Jimbodandy

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Well from a macro POV, the entire season has kind of been like last night's game.

I mean the Cs are 17-1 over their last 18 games. I'd probably be more concerned if MS were passing up open looks than if he's missing them.

I would think someone in the organization has done a video study of his form compared to preseason. Wish I could see that; I'm surprised no one on the internet has done it yet.
This.

If Marcus were hesitating on open threes in the flow of the offense, I'd be more concerned. What we don't want is him forcing the shot and not looking for better ones, early in the shot clock. Overall, the larger point is that the team has one loss. I'm not sure that making significant alterations to anything is a good idea. Let Marcus be Marcus.

edit: one loss post Hayward problem obviously
 

PedroKsBambino

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This is a classic "Bill James" situation. It's easy to focus on what a guy can't do---and unfortunately marcus just can't shoot. He's worse at it than the historical comps (Artest, etc.) and he's worse than anyone else who might shoot it for this team. But there's so many good things he does, we need to remember those two and not talk about 'benching him' for what he can't do---because the next guy will have more gaps than Smart does (defense, rebounding, intensity, ballhandling, passing, toughness...)
 

lovegtm

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I hope they can retain Smart because I think his horrible shooting obscures his real value.
I had this thought as well, and at first it seemed crazy to think they might be playing the long game and depressing his value by letting him jack shots.

But knowing Danny, wouldn't be more surprising if he *hadn't* thought of explicitly doing just that? It's not that hard to just give Marcus the Iggy/Drayton talk after you've just signed him to 4/30, and not before...
 

moondog80

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This is a classic "Bill James" situation. It's easy to focus on what a guy can't do---and unfortunately marcus just can't shoot. He's worse at it than the historical comps (Artest, etc.) and he's worse than anyone else who might shoot it for this team. But there's so many good things he does, we need to remember those two and not talk about 'benching him' for what he can't do---because the next guy will have more gaps than Smart does (defense, rebounding, intensity, ballhandling, passing, toughness...)
That usually applies to say, a guy who has no arm or can’t hit lefties, situations that have an easy remedy (DH/1B, platoon). It’s a lot harder to hide a guard who is literally the worst shooter ever (or very close to that).
 

bosox79

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Of course we have no idea how the team would be with another guard that can shoot.
 

bosox79

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We got a good look at that last night when Rozier had a good shooting game.
He's up to a respectable .355 from 3 this year. I think Rozier would be fine if he just limited himself to taking threes. He isn't the answer though.
 

mcpickl

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Agree, don't care much about garbage time, although the Celtics have played a lot of tight games lately so it was nice to get a breather.

Question: if Smart shot 2 for 5 from 3pt line in the 4th Quarter last night would the Celtics be better off going forward? IMHO The sooner that Smart understands there are much better options on the Celtics offense than his 3PAs, the better the Celtics will be.

His 3 pre-season games were a classic SSS hot streak, driven by launching tons of 3s for a couple months straight this summer. Admittedly, I wishfully drank the kool-aid of the "new ME" Marcus. Unfortunately, the season doesn't work like that, where he can just focus on launching 3s in practice for a month straight. Bad ankles and all, he is a historically bad shooter and that isn't changing, that's who he is. It's a small adjustment, 2-3 less 3PA/game, no hesitation needed Marcus' needs to just drive/draw/dish OR rotate the ball to the better shooters.

I'm not suggesting they play Smart less or Brad bench him. He is value added, bad shooting and all.

Just someone please explain to Marcus that Andre Iguodala and Draymond Green are examples of terrific players (and decent shooters) that shoot fewer 3-pointers than their top 4 shooters. If Marcus can cut back the 3PA it would increase his and the teams offensive efficiency and lead to a bigger payday.
I'd suggest that If Marcus played with Durant, Curry and Klay as Draymond and AI do, he'd shoot less as well.

Marcus is putting up 5.7 three point attempts per 36 minutes this year, but it's 7.1 per 36 minutes without Kyrie on the floor and 3.9 per 36 with Kyrie on the floor.

Draymond is at 3.8 three attempts per 36 minutes in all situations, but only 1 attempt per 36 with the big three on the floor and 4.9 per 36 with only two of them on the floor.

I think Marcus shoots them so often because when Kyrie is off the floor, he's mostly surrounded by guys who are catch and shoot guys from three. And with Kyrie off the floor, those open opportunities and much harder to come by since he's the guy usually setting those up after driving to the basket and passing out.
 

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I'd suggest that If Marcus played with Durant, Curry and Klay as Draymond and AI do, he'd shoot less as well.

Marcus is putting up 5.7 three point attempts per 36 minutes this year, but it's 7.1 per 36 minutes without Kyrie on the floor and 3.9 per 36 with Kyrie on the floor.

Draymond is at 3.8 three attempts per 36 minutes in all situations, but only 1 attempt per 36 with the big three on the floor and 4.9 per 36 with only two of them on the floor.

I think Marcus shoots them so often because when Kyrie is off the floor, he's mostly surrounded by guys who are catch and shoot guys from three. And with Kyrie off the floor, those open opportunities and much harder to come by since he's the guy usually setting those up after driving to the basket and passing out.
Would it kill him to wait another 10 seconds or so before jacking it up while playing with a lead in the fourth quarter, though?
 

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Can someone explain to me why there has to be "a second unit"? If they staggered substitutions so that a couple of starters were on the court at all times, it seems like this would be less of an issue.

I will hang up and listen.
 

mcpickl

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Would it kill him to wait another 10 seconds or so before jacking it up while playing with a lead in the fourth quarter, though?
I don't know, he's taken a total of 13 three point attempts with more than 7 seconds on the shot clock in the fourth quarter all season.

Has he made the Celtics blow a bunch of fourth quarter leads this year or something?
 

benhogan

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I don't know, he's taken a total of 13 three point attempts with more than 7 seconds on the shot clock in the fourth quarter all season.

Has he made the Celtics blow a bunch of fourth quarter leads this year or something?
Nice rhetorical question, considering the Celtics have only lost 3 games and trailed in the 4th quarter in all of them. But I digress it's not about wins and losses with Marcus, he is clearly a winner. No one is questioning that.

At 17-3 this team has exceeded everyone's expectations, the team is young and Brad is working on different rotations. By the end of tonight, we'll be done with over 25% of the regular season schedule. The question is where can they improve moving forward? One of the answers is offensive efficiency (especially the 2nd unit). And the easiest way to improve that is to have Marcus cut back the # of 3PA. I'm sure Brad is addressing our observations and designing plays to create better shooting situations for Smart and the team.

Marcus made a huge bet on himself this offseason, turned down a 4yr guaranteed contract, lost 20lbs with an emphasis on nutrition and worked with Chauncey Billups on his shooting. Video's of him shooting 3's in pick up games were on the net with Marcus declaring its a "new ME". He and his agent know that if he shoots 3-pointers at a league average rate he'd get his own Brinks truck to back-up.

Maybe he is feeling that pressure or maybe he is just a historically bad shooter?

Hope I'm wrong and he regresses to league average on 3 pointers over the rest of the season - that's a 60++ win team.
 

PedroKsBambino

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That usually applies to say, a guy who has no arm or can’t hit lefties, situations that have an easy remedy (DH/1B, platoon). It’s a lot harder to hide a guard who is literally the worst shooter ever (or very close to that).
No, that's not true at all. James' point was that we focus on guys gaps---I think one of the specific examples was Matt Stairs, who didn't look like a player and had no range in the field. But could really hit. That's pretty much Smart, just in reverse.

I hate watching him shoot and agree scheming/coaching to reduce him doing it is wise. But there's literally no way someone can both be knowledgeable about winning NBA games and want Smart benched, either. You either are not the first, or you don't want the second---aesthetics notwithstanding.
 

lovegtm

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I hate watching him shoot and agree scheming/coaching to reduce him doing it is wise. But there's literally no way someone can both be knowledgeable about winning NBA games and want Smart benched, either. You either are not the first, or you don't want the second---aesthetics notwithstanding.
He's clearly a positive impact player in the regular season. The only question is whether playoff preparation by other teams will render him unplayable. I'm decently optimistic here, given that Iggy can stay on the floor, and also because Marcus has a lot more playmaking ability than Tony Allen types. But it's still a very real concern--not a slam-dunk "he's great!" at all.
 

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Uh, I'm now just checking the box score, and assuming it's mistaken.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Can someone explain to me why there has to be "a second unit"? If they staggered substitutions so that a couple of starters were on the court at all times, it seems like this would be less of an issue.

I will hang up and listen.
In basketball the way the NBA is played today where all 5 players must work as a unit continuity is pretty important and over a long season you have the opportunity to build a second "team" to work best together in this environment. It also allows your first and best team more time on the floor together to match up against your opponent who is attempting to take advantage of these same edges.
 

Eddie Jurak

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IMHO The sooner that Smart understands there are much better options on the Celtics offense than his 3PAs, the better the Celtics will be.
I think this is a misdiagnosis. I think a lot of his excessive 3 attempts happen because the bench unit is subpar offensively and because Smart can't create high percentage shots for himself. That is, a lot of his bombing away from 3 is a symptom of a problem rather than being the whole problem. The solution is to improve the bench unit, either by adding a player or by getting more out of the guys who are here - including Smart, but also the other subs.
I had this thought as well, and at first it seemed crazy to think they might be playing the long game and depressing his value by letting him jack shots.
I don't think there's any "long game" going on here, it just kind of is what it is.
Can someone explain to me why there has to be "a second unit"? If they staggered substitutions so that a couple of starters were on the court at all times, it seems like this would be less of an issue.
They do stagger minutes, actually. Tatum and (lately) Morris start but come out of the game early. The Celtics tend to play lineups with Kyrie and Brown and bench guys late in the first quarter and then lineups with Tatum and Morris and bench guys early in the second.

Interestingly, Tatum's worst 2-man combination is with Morris, so maybe part of the bench struggle is that those 2 haven't meshed.
He's clearly a positive impact player in the regular season. The only question is whether playoff preparation by other teams will render him unplayable. I'm decently optimistic here, given that Iggy can stay on the floor, and also because Marcus has a lot more playmaking ability than Tony Allen types. But it's still a very real concern--not a slam-dunk "he's great!" at all.
I don't see a whole lot of reason to think Smart's defense won't hold up in the playoffs.
 

Swedgin

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I don't see a whole lot of reason to think Smart's defense won't hold up in the playoffs.
The issue is not his defense. Teams don't make major changes to their defensive schemes during the 82 to exploit the deficiencies of a flawed player like Smart. A playoff series is a different animal. A player whose offensive/defensive shortcomings are outweighed by their positive contributions on the other end, can be turned into a substantial net negative when the opponent's game plan exploits that shortcoming again and again and again. Tony Allen against GSW and Enes "can't play him" Kanter are extreme examples, but the concern is present with Smart too. I agree with lovegtm that Smart's playmaking and streak shooting probably allow him to stay on the floor, but its definitely a consideration when the Celts are contemplating his next contract.
 

lovegtm

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I don't see a whole lot of reason to think Smart's defense won't hold up in the playoffs.
As swedgin said, this is about offense, not defense. We got a preview of how this could look in the Dallas game, because Carlisle is one of the few coaches who WILL make big optimizations for a regular season game. The Mavs basically dared Smart to shoot and clogged up the rest of the offense.

Now, to be fair, Marcus was able to make a lot of. impact plays down the stretch in that game, because his offensive game is a lot more versatile than other guys who get ignored, like Roberson or Tony Allen. This is what makes me a bit optimistic for the playoffs, but it's a very very real issue that hasn't been settled yet.
 

BaseballJones

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As swedgin said, this is about offense, not defense. We got a preview of how this could look in the Dallas game, because Carlisle is one of the few coaches who WILL make big optimizations for a regular season game. The Mavs basically dared Smart to shoot and clogged up the rest of the offense.

Now, to be fair, Marcus was able to make a lot of. impact plays down the stretch in that game, because his offensive game is a lot more versatile than other guys who get ignored, like Roberson or Tony Allen. This is what makes me a bit optimistic for the playoffs, but it's a very very real issue that hasn't been settled yet.
When Smart is running the P&R, teams should never fight over the screen, or switch, or even really hedge. Simply go under the screen and make Smart hit three pointers. If you lose a game with him going off from three, you can live with it. He's such a good passer that you want to take that option away from him. Make him do what he's worst at - which is shooting. But since he can't seem to resist shooting, going under is the best percentage play for the defense.
 

Eddie Jurak

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The mistake being made here is the assumption that Smart's poor shooting is a cause of the second unit's offensive struggles rather than a consequence of those struggles.

It is a similar type of error to the whole "IT can't score in the playoffs" nonsense - which, in effect, blamed IT for the offensive failings of the rest of the lineup.
 

Eddie Jurak

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When Smart is running the P&R, teams should never fight over the screen, or switch, or even really hedge. Simply go under the screen and make Smart hit three pointers. If you lose a game with him going off from three, you can live with it. He's such a good passer that you want to take that option away from him. Make him do what he's worst at - which is shooting. But since he can't seem to resist shooting, going under is the best percentage play for the defense.
Which NBA teams are unable to figure out that Marcus Smart is a bad shooter and that going under screens against bad shooters is a good idea during the regular season but will get the point in the playoffs?
 

PedroKsBambino

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He's clearly a positive impact player in the regular season. The only question is whether playoff preparation by other teams will render him unplayable. I'm decently optimistic here, given that Iggy can stay on the floor, and also because Marcus has a lot more playmaking ability than Tony Allen types. But it's still a very real concern--not a slam-dunk "he's great!" at all.
Yes, I agree as to playoffs, that's fair. Many comments here are about regular season and those are, imo, silly.
 

benhogan

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The mistake being made here is the assumption that Smart's poor shooting is a cause of the second unit's offensive struggles rather than a consequence of those struggles.

It is a similar type of error to the whole "IT can't score in the playoffs" nonsense - which, in effect, blamed IT for the offensive failings of the rest of the lineup.
Fair enough, other guys on the bench have shot 3-pointers poorly (Semi, Theis, Larkin). Rozier has been league average this year.

So maybe they are partially to blame for Smart's high shot count?

or maybe its Brad trying different rotations and new bench players/rookies figuring out how to play together?

SSS alert but with Marcus starting last night he only had 2 3PA, maybe he didn't feel forced to hoist tons of 3s
 
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Eddie Jurak

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Fair enough, other guys on the bench have shot 3-pointers poorly (Semi, Theis, Larkin). Rozier has been league average this year.

So they are to blame for Smart's high shot count and poor shooting?
I think that when the Celtics’ second unit offense fails (as a group) on a possession, Smart usually ends up heaving a bad 3. He has a hand in those failures, but so do the others on the court.
 

bosox79

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The 2nd unit would look a lot different if Rozier and Semi are hitting their open 3s. One would assume if they are hitting their shots, they would be taking more and Marcus would be taking less.

The good news about Semi is he seems to have gotten over his gun shyness and will now just let them launch. The bad news is he's 3 of his last 22 from 3 and at .279 for the year. Not really a sample size though, and if his college career is any indicator, that should improve a bit. 43 of his 53 FGA have been from 3. How valuable he will be largely depends on how well he hits the 3. He's a guy you really have to watch play to get excited about because nothing he does really translates into the box score. I was a bit surprised to see Semi is averaging 2.2 3PA a game, granted he has shot 12 in the last 2 games.

Rozier has been god like the last 2 games hitting 15/20 FG and the aforementioned 7/10 from 3. It improved his season line from .337/.326/.828 to .381/.365/.818. If he could get his triple slash to .420/.360/.800, he'd be immensely valuable and probably a starter on half the teams in the association.

Also, without Marcus Smart, the Celtics 3PFG% jumps from .360 to .377. They would move from 15th in the league to 9th. I find him infuriating to watch but night in, night out, he's always 1st or 2nd in +/-. Despite it being a flawed stat, when he's consistently doing it, it is hard to ignore. I'm still in favor of acquiring a decent scorer who can play PG but mostly because I think it opens up more options for the Celtics and allows them to sit Kyrie and replace him with a shooter if need be. As of now, one of Kyrie or Smart have to be in the ball game at pretty much all times. I'm not a fan of Larkin at all and Rozier just isn't a PG.

edit: Larkin and Nader have combined for 11.4 mpg this year. So if you played Marcus Smart and/or Rozier 2-3 less minutes a game, you could easily carve out a 15-20 minute role for another guard. Hell, you probably could without even touching Smart or Rozier's minutes.
 
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Joe Sixpack

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Smart passed up a number of wide open shots yesterday when playing with the starters, in favor of making the extra pass. I agree that a lot of these shots are the consequence of playing with a much worse offensive team with the 2nd unit.
 

Manzivino

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Smart has taken a higher percentage of his shots with 15+ seconds on the shot clock than with 7 or less; this isn’t just a case of him getting stuck with the ball at the end of possessions. He may very well be taking this shots because the only guy he plays with off the bench that he has chemistry with is Rozier. But the vast majority of those early shot clock attempts would be better off converted into anybody else shooting.
 

lovegtm

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Which NBA teams are unable to figure out that Marcus Smart is a bad shooter and that going under screens against bad shooters is a good idea during the regular season but will get the point in the playoffs?
It's not about figuring out, it's about adjusting your game-planning and scheme to account for one player in one regular season matchup. Lots of coaches feel that it's not worth breaking far out of base approach to take advantage of a one-time thing. Mental focus and preparation time are very very scarce resources in the regular season, and a lot of teams would rather get better at what they do well than gameplan specifically to exploit Marcus Smart.

This isn't super-controversial or anything: it's common knowledge that teams up their game-planning and opponent optimization in the playoffs. The stakes are higher, you get more rest days, and you play the same team multiple times in a row.

As I said above though, I'm cautiously optimistic about Smart's playoff prospects.
 

JakeRae

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The issue is not his defense. Teams don't make major changes to their defensive schemes during the 82 to exploit the deficiencies of a flawed player like Smart. A playoff series is a different animal. A player whose offensive/defensive shortcomings are outweighed by their positive contributions on the other end, can be turned into a substantial net negative when the opponent's game plan exploits that shortcoming again and again and again. Tony Allen against GSW and Enes "can't play him" Kanter are extreme examples, but the concern is present with Smart too. I agree with lovegtm that Smart's playmaking and streak shooting probably allow him to stay on the floor, but its definitely a consideration when the Celts are contemplating his next contract.
This would be a reasonable theory if it weren't for the fact that he was a positive contributor each of the last two seasons in the playoffs.

His raw +/- on/off per 100 was 8.4 and 5.3, respectively. Those are very good numbers and do not support the theory that he is a playoff liability. If anything, they provide weak support for the contrary proposition.

(Weak because of sample size and issues with unadjusted plus minus.)
 
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Eddie Jurak

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It's not about figuring out, it's about adjusting your game-planning and scheme to account for one player in one regular season matchup. Lots of coaches feel that it's not worth breaking far out of base approach to take advantage of a one-time thing. Mental focus and preparation time are very very scarce resources in the regular season, and a lot of teams would rather get better at what they do well than gameplan specifically to exploit Marcus Smart.

This isn't super-controversial or anything: it's common knowledge that teams up their game-planning and opponent optimization in the playoffs. The stakes are higher, you get more rest days, and you play the same team multiple times in a row.

As I said above though, I'm cautiously optimistic about Smart's playoff prospects.
Smart has played in every playoff game that Brad Stevens has coached in. If he was that exploitable in the playoffs I think we’d know it by now.
 

PedroKsBambino

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Smart has played in every playoff game that Brad Stevens has coached in. If he was that exploitable in the playoffs I think we’d know it by now.
I'd say that his bad shooting is more a liability in the playoffs--but that his overall game remains a plus.

FWIW, I observe what others have speculated on---that Smart does take shots with the second unit because he feels he's the creator there, and there's often limited options, that he does not regularly take when there's scorers on the court. This isn't the whole problem, but is some fraction of it, imo. And will go away should be be here with a healthy Hayward next year.